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Briquet's syndrome

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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Somatization disorder is a specific syndrome characterised by:

  • multiple somatic complaints
  • no organic pathology
  • no autonomic overstimulation
  • symptoms which have persisted for several years

Onset of a somatization disorder is usually before the age of 30. Thereafter it runs a chronic course with repeated recurrences of symptoms.

The syndrome is also referred to as multiple somatization disorder, St. Louis Hysteria and Briquet's syndrome.

The syndrome was named after Briquet by a group in St. Louis, USA. Briquet was a French physician who in 1859 wrote an influential monograph on hysteria.


  • pharmacotherapy with serotonin-reuptake inhibitors appears to be effective for patients with the obsessional cluster of somatoform disorders (1)
  • cognitive behaviour therapy be of benefit in patients with somatization disorder (2)


  1. Fallon BA. Pharmacotherapy of somatoform disorders. J Psychosom Res. 2004 Apr;56(4):455-60.
  2. Allen LA et al. Cognitive-behavioral therapy for somatization disorder: a randomized controlled trial. Arch Intern Med. 2006 Jul 24;166(14):1512-8
  3. Kendell, R. E. Hysteria, somatization and the sick role. Medicine International. 1991;95: 3945.

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